2010 TLA in San Antonio!

What an amazing experience! The 2010 Texas Library Association Conference held in San Antonio April 14 – 17 brought publishers, authors, illustrators and Texas librarians together at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center — and afforded me two very exciting opportunities.

First, I was honored to conduct a book signing at the Albert Whitman & Company booth.

Librarians and parents graciously shared with me the ways they made use of my books in their classrooms and with their own families. It’s so gratifying to learn that my book Bugs in My Hair?! had helped some children feel better while dealing with a case of lice, or that The Terrible Secrets of the Tell-All Club was read aloud to an attentive and enthusiastic classroom.

I also had the chance to meet other Albert Whitman & Company authors, including Dori Hillestad Butler. In the photo above, we each hold up one our latest titles at the Albert Whitman & Company booth (that’s Dori on the left).

And how wonderful to visit at TLA with my gracious editor, Abby Levine, and to meet for the first time in person our dedicated promotions coordinator, Michelle Bayuk.As special events co-coordinator of the San Antonio chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), I also had the chance to be part of the team that organized this year’s SCBWI Texas Chapters booth at TLA.

During the compilation of our new “Book an Author! Book an Illustrator!” SCBWI speakers sourcebook of Texas and regional members who conduct school visits, I corresponded with many esteemed and award-winning SCBWI authors and illustrators. I learned much about their books and their background.The “Book an Author! Book an Illustrator!” booklet, designed by our chapter’s talented Jennifer Zinsmeyer Murillo, featured elements many of us remember from the libraries of our childhood: Each author’s and illustrator’s bio appeared on a card catalog-type card, and the cover sported a stamped, check-out card. Many librarians brought home a copy, enthusiastic to learn about the exciting programs of our local members.

Our chapter’s creative Regional Advisor Heather Powers carried on the elegant library theme, adorning this year’s SCBWI booth with richly textured and colored fabrics draped on tables displaying our members’ published titles.

And a highlight of our booth — our raffle bestowed a collection of ribbon-wrapped books signed by Texas authors and illustrators to many lucky winners!

Throughout our days, we met librarians from all over the state and enjoyed visits from SCBWI members from across Texas and across the country. We were also assisted by SCBWI members from not only our own San Antonio based chapter, but from the Austin, Brazos Valley and Houston chapters as well.

A big thank you to all who volunteered or visited our booth and made the event a success!
(SCBWI booth photo credit Heather Powers)